Cuban athletes in all sports will now be allowed to compete in foreign leagues, as long as they pay taxes of around 20% at home and remain available to play for their country in major competitions.
Unfortunately for MLB, however, the new policy will have only a minimal impact on the league’s access to Cuban stars....The United States’ trade embargo bans any transaction that would fund the Castros’ government. As a result, the requirement that Cuban athletes playing abroad pay local taxes on their income would prevent MLB clubs from signing players who plan to comply.So naturally I came up with this simple, totally impossible, utterly unfeasible, only in an alternate reality solution. I hope you enjoy it: dare to dream fans, dare to dream.
TWINS TERRITORY SECEDES FROM USA
New Nation Lends Support to Cuban Regime
In a stunning announcement yesterday, a section of the country known as Twins Territory announced that they would secede from the United States of America and form their own sovereign nation.
"The time has come for, you know, action," said newly appointed supreme Chairman Mauer. "And, huh, you know, It's best for us all to separate ourselves from the bickering and squabbling over debt ceilings and Obamacare and acknowledge that while America has had a good run, it's best for us to get out while the getting is good."
The new republic will encompass large sections of what was formerly Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Concerns that those who live in the demarcated region may not be Twins fans were immediately allayed by Minister of Martial Redistricting Ron Gardenhire, "we're going to do one of those partitionsies. Mauersy and I talked about it and feel real good about it. It was kinda rough for India-y and Pakistan for a while, but you know, they battled and got through it and uh, real proud of them."
As for how the nation will sustain a functioning economy Minister of Financial Oversight Jim Pohlad was quick to explain. "We figure that a lot of people will keep coming to support us, and without American taxes to hold us back we can spend as much as we like. Beyond that, we've got some great corporate partners lined up, oh...and Best Buy...we've got them too. Plus the Wilfs said we could just have "personal living licenses to raise revenue, that seems like a winner."
But the shocking first act of the new country was to appoint Tony Oliva as official Twins Territory Ambassador to Cuba. As Chairman Mauer said: "It's a, ummm, no-brainer, you know. Uhh, Tony has the experience and the commitment and the willingness to do what it takes to win, so...yeah."
Oliva's first task will be to reopen trade negotiations between the two states, the result of which will be that Cubans can play in Twins Territory without the hassle of often dangerous attempts to defect. Players would be able to return home and improve the lives of their families and loved ones rather than being forced to remain alienated in a foreign land indefinitely.
"I don't know if they'll remember me," said Oliva, "but hey, it's no crazier than signing Nishioka, and a whole lot faster than waiting for us to develop a pitcher."
Adopting a large portion of Cuba's talent pool into the Twins Minor League system already has Baseball experts salivating. "First Sano, then Buxton and now this?" said ESPN's baseball/foreign affairs analyst Keith Law. "The Twins might be the craziest pack of lunatics outside of North Korea, but crazy has its benefits."